Southgate bounce back with comfortable victory

By Dominique Stafford in Hockey

SOUTHGATE bounced back from their disappointing defeat in their previous outing by easing to a 3-0 victory at Wapping in the Men’s Conference East of the English Hockey League on Saturday.

Making their first league visit to the ‘home of English hockey’ at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, the visitors came out with all guns blazing as they started the match at a high tempo which Wapping struggled to live with.

Early chances saw Will Holt fire over and Duncan Scott have a shot well saved by home keeper James Stock – setting the pattern for a first half which saw Southgate created a number of opportunities, only to find Stock in excellent form.

However, the deadlock was finally broken in the 22nd minute when the hosts failed to clear a John Sterlini penalty corner and, following a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Sam Mee, who scored from close range.

The visitors’ dominance continued in the second half, with Scott in particular causing problems for the Wapping defence as he stick skills made him unplayable at times.

With the pressure mounting, the seemingly inevitable second goal finally arrived in the 63 minute as Timmy Smyth drove into the Wapping circle from the left and drew Stock off his line before producing a cross which Mee deflected in at the far post.

And the third arrived a minute later when Holt raced into the circle, and as Stock advanced to close the angle, his square pass found Smyth to turn the ball into the empty net.

To Wapping’s credit, they went on to enjoy their best spell of the match after this and forced Enrico Francesconi to make a number of smart saves in the Southgate goal, but it made no difference to the final outcome as the visitors eased to victory.

Southgate entertain Trent Park on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Southgate Ladies’ scheduled home match against Northampton Saints in the Women’s Conference East was postponed because of snow on Saturday.

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